Assessing macOS 11 and Xcode 12
I've assessed macOS 11 Big Sur public beta and Xcode 12 beta 6 on an iMac 2019.
macOS 11 regressions
The first difference is the inflation on the size of the software.
The System folder of macOS 11 Big Sur takes twice as much space as macOS 11.15.6 Catalina, 22 GB instead of 11 GB.
Xcode 12 weights 28 GB against 18 GB for Xcode 11.
Same happens with the screen.
The resolution should be scaled one step from Default to More Space in order to display the same content as with the previous version.
Some boards requires drivers to upload or display a serial console. Some of those drivers rely on kernel extensions, or .kext. The kernel extensions are said to be replaced by system extensions.
I tried and installed two drivers, the SciLabs USB driver and the propietary FTDI driver required by the LaunchPad CC3220, but the process failed for both.
I don't know if and when those drivers will be replaced.
Surprisingly, I haven't faced any security-related issue when performing a fresh installation of embedXcode, or when using the different utilities.
However, the public beta might not have included all the new security features.
Xcode 12 regressions
On Xcode 11, the legacy build system is selected through the menu File > Project Settings... (left)
Xcode 12 only features the default build system, as the legacy build system is deprecated (right).
However, the legacy build system is still temporarily available on Xcode 12. If selected, a prominent warning is displayed on the dialogue box and on the Report Navigator.
Asking Apple for help
I don't know the reasons for removing the previous build system from Xcode 12. Why the new build system no longer manages the output from make? Is the incompatibility coming from the make system or from the GCC tool-chains? What are the alternatives?
So I filed a ticket FB8572278 with the Feedback Assistant at the Developers Tools section and asked for keeping the legacy build system, or providing a solution to manage the output from make and the GCC tool-chains. However, my expectations are very low.
To my surprise, I received an answer —sort of. I was asked to "provide more details about [my] use case. Specifically, what is a 'CCG toolchain' and why is its use _inherent_ to the legacy build system?".
The loss of critical features due to the removal of the legacy build system, and the nonsense answer from Apple customer service to developers, are a clear invitation to assess alternatives outside the Apple eco-system.
On a separate message, Apple acknowledges that Xcode no longer supports GCC, and that this deprecation may rise other more general issues.
More to come
Posted: 30 August 2020
Updated: 15 September 2020, 17 September 2020, 1st October 2020